What I’m consuming

I haven’t done of these in a while, but I’m currently on travel in Maine and have a little time to work on this. Here is the media and entertainment I’ve been consuming lately.

My education in the Science Fiction and Fantasy “classics” continues, but I took a break to read A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trailby Bill Bryson. A very hilarious and thoughtful travelogue of a couple guys ill-fitted for the task of tackling the Appalachian Trail. Hysterical. Another side track I took was to read the classic The Richest Man in Babylon,the gold standard for teaching hard work and personal finance. I think everyone needs to read this book. I’m working on a list of books my kids will read as they grow up and this one will be at the top of that list.

Finally, I got back to the classic. I’m embarassed to say I had never previously read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.I recognize that HHGTTG has a place in the pantheon of Sci Fi classics, but I felt it was a tad overrated. Just a tad. It was good and had laugh-out-loud moments, but it wasn’t great. I then moved on to The Mote in God’s Eyeby Niven and Pournelle. I know I’m drawing from a shallow well at this point, but Mote is probably the best Sci Fi novel I’ve read. A story of the first contact of humans with aliens, it starts slow but finds a comfortable pace and is an excellent read. It strikes the balance between story and science that I like. It also had a “goose bump” moment that I had to go back a read multiple times. Hopefully you know what I’m talking about, a moment that takes a great book and elevates into rarefied air. (One of my favorite “goose bump moments” was in Crichton’s Timeline, when the students find the professor’s note, “Help me,” written 400 years in the past. I loved that moment.) I’m recommending The Mote is God’s Eye to anyone who’ll listen.

Having finished Mote, I’m now moving on to another couple of classics. I have both 1984 and Brave New Worldin the queue. Another book I’m ashamed to say I never read, 1984,was riveting (I just finished it) but a tad depressing. I’ve moved on to Brave New World and then it’s on to the stack of graphic novels Nat provided me with.

Not a whole lot new on the TV consumption. I’m still watching Prison Break and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox, and the trifecta of Earl/Office/30 Rock on Thursdays. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: 30 Rock is my favorite show on TV. We got hooked on Dexter earlier this year and we’re anxiously awaiting the next season (we’re catching it on CBS, as we don’t have Showtime).

On the music front, I haven’t been listening to much new stuff. The newest couple of groups I’ve been listening to have been Bodies Without Organs, a swedish Europop group I came across on last.fm. I can’t find much of their stuff on iTunes or Amazon, but YouTube has a lot of their stuff (my favorite being “Chariots of Fire“). Another group I recently start listening to is Clutch. I love the lead singer’s voice, and any band that performs a song called “What Would a Wookies Do?” is hard to pass up.

So that’s quite a bit. Hopefully I can do these more regularly so I don’t have so much to catch up on. I’ll let the other guys chime in, as well.

I’d like to know what have you been consuming?

(Image Credit: Stacks from Patrick Gray Illustration’s photostream)


  1. Prison Break, eh? Man. I stopped watching it halfway through last season. It just stopped being entertaining for me. I see write-ups on what is happening in the current season and it makes absolutely no sense to me.

    It’s a shame, because I adored the first two seasons.

  2. I actually picked up Age of Conan on the cheap ($20) at my secret discount location (can’t blast where here cause it won’t be secret anymore). It’s seems to be really fun at the moment. I figure I’ll give it a whirl for the free 30 days that came with it and if I like it I’ll keep it going.

    Also I went back into my game collection and have been playing through Marvel:Ultimate Alliance with some of the new characters that I’ve downloaded. Yet, I find myself playing as Thor now because I didn’t play him as much earlier.

    All that with a sprinkling of Left 4 Dead demo.

  3. While I was out dropping about $1000 on flooring and wiring and crap today, I somehow ended up with a copy of Left 4 Dead for the 360 in my pile of purchases. How’d that happen?

    I’ve never even tried the demo. I am just going on word of mouth and the fact that my PC is just janky enough not to be worth the hassle of trying to play the game on it. It should be a fun diversion between rounds of tank battles in Valkyria Chronicles and Fable 2 marathons.

  4. TV: Fringe and The Mentalist (and they air at the same time!)

    Books: Into the Wild (just AMAZING!), In the Name of the Wind, The Life of David Brainerd, and Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It (just awesome–get it bargain at amazon!)

    I’ve just arrived back from a business trip so I’ve not been doing any gaming. I don’t know if I will for a while. I’ve done some other, more interesting things.

  5. That Gatling book looks cool.

    I wondered where you went, Nat. And yeah. Into The Wild is fantastic. I read it YEARS ago (and Into Thin Air by Krakauer is awesome as well) and I just watched the movie of Into The Wild over the weekend and it knocked my socks off. Great stuff.

    And what are these other, more interesting things you’ve done? Bobbing for golden apples, maybe?

  6. @Brock – Prison Break this season has been okay, but recently it’s taken on a bit of a “bank heist” motif and has been pretty enjoyable.

    @Nat – I’ve been catching Fringe when I can and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I just returned from a business trip, too, so I got a bunch of reading in.

  7. Tony: That’s interesting. I kept seeing things about keycards and so forth and had no idea what was going on. I’ll have to check out the latter part of last season and start catching up on this one.

  8. flamingsquirrel says

    Bah! I just got hooked on Dexter myself, about 4 days ago. Very interesting show, I’m watching around 2 episodes every night, I have no idea what I’ll do once I finish everything that’s already out on DVD!

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